GEORGE W. HARTZELL
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George W. Hartzell. It has been said that the recent World war was the most epochal period of world's history. It is undoubtedly true that never before in the history of the world have men and women risen to such great heights of attainment and sacrifice as they did in the great conflict just closed. The impress on future generations remains to be seen, and for the benefit of future generations, the historians should include, without reservation, the story of the men and women who unselfishly dedicated their services to the many essential tasks at home, while our boys enforced our rights on the firing line abroad. When the colossal work of marshaling the industrial forces of this Nation became the paramount task of the hour, there was a spontaneous response from every industrial center of this country, if not from every industry of the country, great and small. The giant colossus of our industrial life moved into action, and this mighty force proclaimed to all the world that America's resources stood ready to serve the country's needs, first, last, and above all else. Whatever may be said in the final summary of our industrial contribution and their part in the World war it is undoubtedly true that practically every manufacturer called on stood ready and willing to sacrifice everything to the great cause. They approached their tasks in a self-sacrificial spirit, and to their everlasting credit, let it be said. that, despite sundry intimation many of our industrial plants throughout the country have not, at this time, been able to resume their normal channels of trade and many have had to practically begin all over again. In this instance, it is the province of this work to recount the part played by the great industrial leaders of the great Miami valley. Nowhere in the nation was there a more generous or more efficient co-ordination of all forces to the general welfare. In volume and in diversity, the Miami Valley industries sent their products in a constant stream to the end of the conflict. Miami county achieved much distinction of the many counties of the Miami valley. The industries of Miami county- always noted in times of peace-became quickly converted to war production and contributed much to the sum total of the achievements of Miami valley. One of the notable industries which were early called upon was the Hartzell Manufacturing Company, of Piqua, Ohio. The complete war record of this concern will be found in the industrial section of this work and we will here divert to a short sketch of George W. Hartzell, the head of this concern. George W. Hartzell literally grew up in his business, his father before him having been widely known as a successful manufacturer of hard wood products. George W. Hartzell was born April 16, 1869, the son of John T. Hartzell, in Union City, Ind. The elder Hartzell had established a hardwood lumber concern at this place and had developed a thriving business. A fully equipped plant was maintained here, and their products were handled from the forests to the finished products. The elder Hartzell was a master of his business and his thorough knowledge was imparted to the son in a most practical manner. At an early age George W. Hartzell quit school and became associated with his father. He served in every capacity going into the forests controlled by his father where he learned the business from its very beginning. He supplemented this knowledge with many trips to Europe and other places. He was entrusted with many important missions, his trips to Europe bringing him in contact with international factors in this business. The Hartzell Company numbered among their customers, many of the foremost manufacturers of Europe, and the younger Hartzell was entrusted with many important missions in the transaction of business with European clients. In the early eighties the concern was removed to Greenville, Ohio, and a short time subsequent to this, became known as the J. T. Hartzell & Son Company, the younger Hartzell becoming at that time a full fledged partner in the concern. About 1890 the elder Hartzell retired from active business life, and from that time on, the destiny of this concern was guided by the son, George W. Hartzell. In 1900 the, plant was removed to Piqua, where it expanded to greater proportions and is today one of the leading industries of its kind in the country. When the call came for industrial mobilization and industrial specialists were being sought, it was natural to turn to George W. Hartzell on matters pertaining to wood. The instantaneous demand for walnut gunstocks found a ready response from the Hartzell concern as well as other items of great moment, including the very difficult task of manufacturing finished aeroplane propellers, to which we again respectfully refer the reader to the industrial section of this work. Mr. Hartzell married Miss Deborah Norris, of Darke county, daughter of the Rev. Robert and Clarisa Norris. The Hartzell family resides in Oakwood, Dayton. To Mr. and Mrs. Hartzell have been born Ruth, now deceased; Robert and Rose. Robert is associated with his father in the business. Mr. Hartzell is a public spirited citizen, and is keenly alive to all measures for general welfare and advancement. He is a splendid optimist and a keen judge of men and events. His foreign travels have given him a broad vision of life, and he possesses a fund of general information and a knowledge of international life, possessed by but few.
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